Nev. fluoridation bill dies in committee

A measure to require the Truckee Meadows Water Authority (TMWA) to fluoridate water in Reno, NV, and surrounding Washoe County has died without an Assembly committee vote, according to an Associated Press (AP) report.

Assembly Health and Human Services Chairwoman Debbie Smith (D-Sparks) told the AP that SB311 didn't have enough support in her committee or the full Assembly.

Bill supporters had argued that lowered dental costs and increased dental health because of water fluoridation in the Las Vegas area showed why Washoe County should do the same, the AP reported. The Nevada Dental Association noted that $13 million in dental health costs were saved by fluoridating water in Las Vegas at a cost of 19¢ per person.

But Nevada's financial struggles likely played a part in the bill's demise, Smith told the AP. TMWA estimated it would cost about $5 million to start fluoridation and about $1.5 million a year to continue the program, and water bills in Washoe County would increase 50¢ to 75¢ a month for most homes and businesses.

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